Archive for August, 2012

August 29, 2012

A look at the new Klout score and features [Screenshots]

New Klout scores and features have rolled out through the month of August, and I think its a step in the right direction. From the beginning of Klout, there have been people who have rightly questioned the importance, relevance, and accuracy of measuring social influence with an algorithm. Instead of getting defensive of their product, Klout focused on improvement. A few updates have been released over the years, but the one from August 2012 seems to be the most promising. Essentially, there are three elements to the latest update:

Discover – A rudimentary beginning to a Klout/social media dashboard. You get an idea of what per cent each social network contributes to your Klout score. For me, I’m about 80% Twitter dominant, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot of new stuff here. They continue to display your 7-day, 30-day, and 90-day Klout score movement, number of mentions, likes, followers, friends, +1′s, connections, etc. All this is interesting, but not overly helpful.

Moments – This is a list of all the interactions your accounts have had over the last 90 days. It includes likes, mentions, followers gained, RT, +1 in Klout, and so on. You can scroll back for three months to see what pieces of content were most engaging to your audience. On each “moment” there’s a curious little meter that consists of five green balls. The more engaging your content is, the more balls will be turned green. It’s a decent, chronological overview, but I’d like the ability to sort by highest and lowest ranked pieces of content, rather than having to scroll through and look at them all.

New Klout score – This is probably the most important part of the August 2012 update. Now, Klout uses significantly broader data sets and signals, from less than 100 to more than 400, to analyze  and calculate your online influence. They have also increased the number of data points analyzed on a daily basis from 1 billion to 12 billion in an attempt to deliver a more accurate and up-to-date score for Klout users. They now include many more actions from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more, and for the first time they incorporate Wikipedia. Klout even published the key things they measure for each network. Here are the highlights (pulled verbatim from this post).

  • Facebook:
    • Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
    • Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    • Subscribers: Subscriber count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
    • Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
    • Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network, but it is less important than how your network engages with your content.
  • Twitter
    • Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
    • Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc”.
    • List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
    • Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
    • Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.
  • Google+
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    • +1′s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    • Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.
  • LinkedIn
    • Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
    • Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
    • Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
  • foursquare
    • Tips Done: The number of suggestions you’ve left that have been completed indicate your ability to influence others on foursquare.
  • Klout
    • +K received: Receiving +K increases your Klout Score by an amount that is capped in every 90-day measurement cycle to protect the integrity of the Score.
  • Wikipedia
    • Page Importance: Measured by applying a PageRank algorithm against the Wikipedia page graph.
    • Inlinks to Outlinks Ratio: Compares the number of inbound links to a page to the number of outbound links.
    • Number of Inlinks: Measures the total number of inbound links to a page.

For more reading about this update, and other Klout projects, check out their blog :

What do you think of the new Klout score and feature roll-out? If your account hasn’t been upgraded, login to preview.klout.com and take a look around.

August 23, 2012

Want to know some stats about YOUR Instagram account? There’s an app for that.

Since October 2010, Instagram has been one of the fastest-growing social networks in history. By the end of March 2012, it had about 30 million iPhone users, and, since the release of the app on Android, Instagram user numbers have balooned to 80 million.

Like all Android users, I’m new to Instagram but really enjoying the experience. After getting to know the tool a bit, I began to think that it was missing two things. First, a browser-based interface that would allow the user to manage photos, comments, likes, and account settings from a laptop. Instagram users know that almost everything usually has to be done with your smartphone, which isn’t always the easiest task.

The second thing about Instagram that left me wanting more was a lack of stats. Initially, I went searching for the “total views” a photo had received  Knowing this stat would give me an idea of the types of photos my followers are most interested in, and also how successful my sharing tactics are.

After a bit of Googling, I came across Statigr.am - a brower-based app that gives you dozens of stats about your Instagram usage, essentially filling in both of the gaps that were bothering me about Instagram. Statigram helps you keep track of:

  • Reading, posting, and responding to comments
  • Liking photos
  • Following and un-following other users
  • The number of photos, likes, comments, and followers you have
  • A month-by-month analysis
  • Your tag usage – i.e. the most popular tags associated with your account
  • The most popular filters you use
  • Your most liked and most commented on images
  • Best time to post
  • Photo lifespan
  • Follower growth
  • And so on…

They even have extra functionality that includes: the ability to create a Facebook Cover image out of your instagram photos, Instagram follow buttons for your website / blog,  an RSS feed,  a public URL, and a toolkit for brands to help them setup and monitor photo contests.

And it turns out that I’m not the only one looking for the functionality and statistics Statigr.am offers: just last week they announced that they have reached the 1 Million user mark and are still growing.

Let me know: Do you care to learn more about your Instagram stats?

August 15, 2012

I challenge you to Google yourself! [Infographic]

A simple Google search to see what results come up when your name is punched into the worlds biggest search engine – It’s just a smart thing to do. Feel free to head over to Google now to do a quick search…I’ll wait…Did you like what you found?

You may be surprised to know that you are not the only one searching for information about you online. It turns out that just about everybody wants to know more about you, and it’s not just your family and friends:

  • 79% of HR recruiters and hiring managers screen job candidates by reviewing online information about them.
  • 86% of hiring managers have told candidates that they were rejected based on what was found online about them.
  • Even 12% of College admissions officers said that posts which include photos of alcohol consumption, illegal activity, and the use of vulgar language have negatively impacted a potential student’s chances in being granted admission.

Sometimes I think that too much of the “Google yourself often” conversation is framed around the fear of having bad things appear online about you. This fear approach may motivate some, but I prefer to remind people of the opportunity angle. Yes, I firmly agree that it’s a good idea to keep your questionable behaviour offline as much as possible, but it’s also good to remember that hiring managers are looking to find out good things about you too…so they can hire you. This infographic from 2011 says that 68% of recruiters have hired a candidate because of what they saw about their potential hire on social media. Some of these reasons were because the candidates profile:

  • Gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit
  • Supported their professional qualifications
  • Showed the candidate was creative
  • Showed solid communications skills
  • Demonstrated the candidate’s awards and accolades
  • etc.

Googling yourself isn’t about vanity, egotism, or a sense of self-importance. It’s about ensuring your online presence is an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally. You wouldn’t submit a resume without proofreading it, so it just makes sense to take a few moments each month to Google yourself and “proofread” the information available about you online. If you don’t like what you see, you can take steps to remove questionable posts/photos and change your online behaviour going forward. It’s better to start now than to wait until you are actively looking for a job.

For some additional facts, stats, and tips to help you find out what the internet is saying about you, check out the infographic below from www.backgroundcheck.org.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This infographic asks you to log out of Google to get “unbiased results”. It is true that this will disconnect the search results from any information Google has stored about your Google Account. But Google also uses third-party cookies that your browser has stored to customize your results as well. To turn off both of these customizations at the same time, all you have to do is add the simple “&pws=0” URL parameter to the end of your search URL, hit enter, and you will see the results most people on the web will see. The URL should then look something like this https://www.google.com/search?q=Your+Name&pws=0. Big thanks to colleague @erichollebone for sharing the URL parameter tip.

The Google Yourself Challenge
From: BackgroundCheck.org

…And, on a lighter note, a final thought on “Googling yourself” from 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan…

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